1876 John George Brown Oil Painting

Value (2010) | $40,000 Auction$60,000 Auction

We inherited it from my parents in 1967. They had purchased it in the late '40s at an estate sale.


And other than that, I don't know a great deal about it. My dad called it the "J.G. Brown," and he liked it because it reminded him of his mother.

Your dad had good taste. It is J.G. Brown, who's the American painter John George Brown. And it's signed and dated in the lower center right. "N.A." is an abbreviation for National Academy, or the National Academy of Design. J.G. Brown was actually from the United Kingdom, worked in Scotland. His background was actually as a glass cutter, but he had, obviously, a lot of skill as a painter. He emigrated to New York in the 1850s, ultimately took up painting, studied at the National Academy, also ended up becoming a teacher at the National Academy of Design. Very well known. He's very popular amongst collectors of American paintings. Generally speaking, what he tends to do most is subjects of street urchins, newspaper sellers, shoeshine boys, this sort of thing. So a subject like this-- beautiful young lady in a landscape with the dipper here, the water-- this is slightly atypical from what people think of when they think of your standard J.G. Brown. During his lifetime, and particularly toward the latter part of the 19th century, he was arguably really one of the more popular painters in America. Some of his paintings were reproduced for prints. He certainly made a pretty handsome living. You know, you hear sometimes about painters who go through and aren't appreciated until after they're gone. That was really not the case with John George Brown. Now, this painting is a wonderful painting, not only because of the subject, the condition-- which seems to be excellent. When you look up his prices, funny enough, notwithstanding that the street urchins and the newsboys and such are the more popular subjects, those haven't always been the ones that have sold the best at auction. Some of the ones that have sold the best at auction have been subjects besides those.


Today, at auction, I think you could estimate this painting probably at $40,000 to $60,000 for auction purposes.


So it's a really terrific painting.

My daughter's already in line for it.

Oh, there you go. Well, when it goes back on the wall, there'll be a newfound appreciation for it, I hope.

Appraisal Details

Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2010)
$40,000 Auction$60,000 Auction
Miami Beach, FL (July 10, 2010)

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